Suffield Voters Guide

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The November 3 Presidential Election will be held in the Suffield Middle School’s (SMS) gymnasium, 350 Mountain Road from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Accessible parking will be available in front of SMS. All other parking is between SMS and McAlister School. Register online at VoterRegistration.CT.GOV or complete a voter registration application and send it to the Town Hall. 

Election Day Registration (EDR) will take place at 61 Ffyler Place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDR is for qualified Suffield residents who would like to register to vote on Election day. They must appear in person and provide 1) a current and valid photo identificaiton that shows their name and address; or 2) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows their name and address.

Local Candidates

Questions asked of all candidates for State Senator and State Representative:

Question 1. What are your qualifications for this office and, if elected, what would be your personal goals?

Question 2: With specific  references to the pandemic and the apparent racial discord, what do you think is the appropriate role of the legislature and what actions would you support or oppose to address these issues?

Question 3: Beyond the issues addressed above, what do you see as the two biggest problems facing the State of Connecticut, and what specific actions would you undertake to resolve those problems?

State Senator

John A. Kissel – R

Question 1. I have been honored to serve the great people of Suffield (Happy 350th Anniversary!) for the past 28 years as their voice in our Connecticut State Senate. I am as excited today as I was on the first day I served. While I missed Suffield on the Green this year, I truly believe we will get back to normal within a year, but for now we all need to be safe and smart.

Going forward my concerns and goals are straight forward. Taxes. During this pandemic we have lost multi-millions in state revenue. The Governor is tapping the Rainy Day Fund, but that cannot last forever. I will fight as hard as I can to make sure no further burdens fall on our towns. Additionally, we need to be sensitive to our school children who are living in this unprecedented time. We need to make sure all students not only have access to computers or tablets, but to the internet. As legislators we must work with SDE, administrators and teachers to develop the best curriculum for online learning.

Question 2. Less than five years ago I helped draft and pass one of the toughest Hate Crimes Bills in the country. I am very proud of the bipartisan work put in on that bill. I think the Police Accountability Bill passed this summer went too far. I helped draft, it but voted against it. Several police unions have endorsed me because I took that stand in July. Race should not be an issue that divides us but brings us together. Likewise, we cannot tie the hands of those brave men and women who work in law enforcement. We can achieve racial balance and fairness but also allow our police officers to maintain safe communities.

With regard to the pandemic, I believe the full legislature should have a greater voice in how we navigate this crisis. You elected us to be your voice and it is past time we are back to work. Government by Executive Order is not a good solution long term.

Question 3. Connecticut, like other states like Illinois, has ignored its pension obligations. This will haunt our children and grandchildren. Like true New England Yankees, Suffielders, we need to live within our means and pay down our debts. Retired teachers taught our children and should not have to worry about their pensions. The Covid-19 issue will not go away any time soon. We simply need to live within our means and that is something I have been fighting for my whole career in our Senate.

Thank you to everyone in Suffield who has supported me. If re-elected to be your State Senator, I will not let you down! 

Frederick A. Moffa – D

Question 1. I have served on the Granby Board of Finance for 14 years, working across the aisle to build forward-looking, equitable budgets for the town. I’m also a small business owner and having built Granby Family Eye Care from nothing over the past 20 years, I know how to address the challenges of managing budgets and personnel. I hope to help Connecticut safely through this pandemic and create a comprehensive public option health insurance.

Question 2.The legislature absolutely must follow the experts and health professionals in implementing proper guidelines to protect the public. To blunt the economic impact, the state should be providing grants and low-cost bridge loans to keep small businesses going during the downturn. Racism, too, must be dealt with as a public health crisis. Stakeholders need to be given the tools necessary to create fairer outcomes for everyone.

Question 3. First, the state employees’ and teachers’ pension funds. We need an honest reckoning of liabilities, so we can move forward and address our obligations. Second, education funding. We need to revisit the Education Cost Sharing formula and do what it takes to support a world-class public education system. 

Special Voter Registration

A Special Registration for the admission of any member of the armed forcees or former member of the armed forces discharged there from within the calendar year may register to vote on Monday, November 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From 9 a.m. to noon, the session, held in the Registrars of Voters Office at 61 Ffyler Place, will include those who become 18 years old, a newly naturalized citizen or a new resident of Suffield, after Octber 27. You may contact Registrars at 860-668-3850.

Election Results Reporting

Election results reporting will be available for public viewing on the CT Election Center website Preliminary election results (tabulator tape numbers) will be electronically submitted to the Secretary at the State by midnight Election Day. These results will be on the website. Hand counted ballot results will be added when they are available. The final results are required to be submitted within two days of the election. Suffield’s election officials will submit the results as soon as possible.

State Representative

Tami Zawistowski – R

Question 1. Your State Representative since 2014, Ranking Member of Planning & Development Committee, member of Appropriations and Transportation Committees. 2019 Legislator of the Year Award from CT Conference of Municipalities (CCM), Town Crier Award from Council of Small Towns (COST). Small business owner for 20+ years, previously Executive Vice President of Northeast Savings and Assistant Director at UConn School of Business Real Estate Center. Member of Suffield Rotary, Suffield Chamber, NFIB CT Leadership Council. Endorsed by CT Realtors, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), CT Association of Retired Teachers, Police Officers Association of CT, CT Fraternal Order of Police and Independent Party of CT. My personal goal is to get the state back on its feet after Covid-19 and use that momentum to make Connecticut even better than before.

Question 2. The primary role of the legislature is to advocate for citizens’ safety and well-being. While the Governor is running the state through declaring a state of emergency, some legislators such as myself took the initiative to find additional sources for masks and other PPE for nursing homes, first responders and others. I have also helped those struggling with unemployment benefits, small business loans and other needs. Concerning racial division, it is also the role of the legislature to protect the Constitutional rights of its citizens, ensuring that laws do not discriminate, and to offer everyone an equal opportunity to succeed.

Question 3. The immediate problem is rebuilding our state’s economy and reopening schools safely. Economic activity is increasing, but tourism and hospitality related businesses will take longer to recover. I worked with Bradley Airport to get Covid testing as a safe alternative to the mandatory 14-day quarantine, helping increase passenger numbers and provide more confidence for airlines to announce new destinations. For those whose jobs may not be returning soon, I support training to provide additional skills for employment in other industries. Another big problem is affordability.  Working families and retirees find it difficult to afford living in Connecticut. Prior to the pandemic, we were still behind the rest of the country in job and wage growth and had not recovered all the jobs lost during the 2008 recession. Yet the majority party enacted higher taxes and fees, anti-business initiatives and tried to impose tolls. One of the reasons I was honored by both CCM and COST was by stopping new unfunded municipal mandates that would have increased property taxes. I support regulatory changes to our public utilities to decrease energy costs, and better oversight for long term care insurance. Single party control of our state government has not been good for Connecticut. Legislators must be better stewards of your tax dollars instead of raising or adding new taxes and fees.

Jack Henrie – D

Question 1.I have lived in Suffield for 33 years and am dedicated to making the 61st District an even better place to live. I am an MBA/CPA entrepreneur with 40 years of business experience and am Suffield’s elected Town Treasurer. I have been CFO of companies ranging from the second largest wholesale nursery in the Northeast to the fastest growing technology company in Connecticut and have successfully turned around struggling businesses. As a Suffield business owner since 1994, I have worked with CEOs to grow their businesses, created hundreds of jobs, and increased stakeholder wealth by over $1 billion. My goal is to apply this expertise to re-opening our state, creating jobs and revitalizing our economy. My extensive business experience makes me a better candidate for the job than my opponent.

Question 2. It is the obligation of legislators to represent the people of their districts and to learn what changes are most important to their constituents. Regarding the pandemic, I support the actions of Governor Lamont in slowing the spread of Covid-19. I agree with his decision to empower local school boards to adjust their reopening strategies based on their needs. A balanced approach is key to our success.

The perpetuation of systemic racism toward people of color is unacceptable and must be addressed through education, including studying the history of Native Americans and minorities, embracing social justice, and through judicial, police and prison reform. Black Lives Matter is more than a slogan. It is the recognition that all people’s lives must be valued and respected equally. I am proud to be among the founding members of ABAR Suffield and pledge to promote racial equity, justice, and peace in our community.

Question 3. FDR said, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” I strongly believe in supporting the education of our children. As a member of the Suffield Board of Finance, I advocated for appropriate educational funding. I completed the Connecticut Education Association’s questionnaire and scored a perfect 100. The CEA gives grades to all sitting legislators. My opponent’s most recent grade was a disappointing, failing 51.

I see Connecticut’s problems as opportunities. We face an aging demographic and brain drain as our students move to other states following their education here. We must improve our education-to-job pipeline, uptrain to available jobs in Connecticut, and invest in workforce training and vocational technology. We must repair our deteriorating infrastructure and will create jobs in the process. We will similarly create jobs as we address clean energy through renewable sources. By working together, we can improve the quality of life in our District.

Get to know, and vote for Jack! 

Voting Privately in Suffield

By Darlene Burrell
Registrar of Voters

The November 3 Presidential Election will be held in the middle school gymnasium, 350 Mountain Road, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Due to Covid-19 all voters are asked to wear a face mask and to practice social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance of the polls. Voters may bring their own black pens to mark their ballots.

Voters will enter through the front of the gym and exit through the rear door. Voters with accessibility needs may exit via the front.

Curbside voting will be available for electors who are temporarily physically incapacitated on Election Day and can get to the polling place front parking lot. For more information, contact the registrars of voters at 860-668-3850.

A ballot marking system will be available at the polls and EDR locations. The, optional, ballot marking system was designed to make it possible for everyone, even those with physical disabilities, to vote privately. The system simply marks the ballot for you, after you make your candidate selections using a tablet or keypad. The ballot choices are given visually or audibly; it is the voter’s choice. Election officials will be available to provide instructions to anyone who would like to use the system.

The absentee ballot drop box, located in front of 61 Ffyler Place, will accept ballots up until 8 p.m. on Election Night. Absentee ballots may not be brought to the polls. Verification that the Town Clerk received your ballot is available online at .

2020 Official Ballot

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